Is it time for antibiotics to replace appendicectomy?
The first recorded successful appendicectomy was performed in 1735 at St George’s Hospital in London. It was for an 11-year-old boy, who had perforated his appendix by swallowing a pin.
But the modern era of surgery for appendicitis began in the US in 1889, when surgeon Charles McBurney expounded the principle of swift removal of the organ to avoid peritonitis.
Although the procedure has evolved and is now mainly laparoscopic, the paradigm of innovation has shifted to the use of antibiotics to spare patients from surgery.